Summary of our market study

The men's razor market has experienced various trends starting from 2020, reflecting a shift in consumer behavior and industry dynamics. The global razor market, valued at USD 23.08 billion in 2021, is projected to grow at a 5.8% CAGR, reaching USD 38.34 billion by 2030. Europe currently leads the market, but Asia, particularly India and China, is catching up rapidly with a projected CAGR of 11% until 2031. Despite this growth, the UK market demonstrates signs of contraction. In 2020, sales of electric shavers above £50 halved in the UK, while razors between £25 and £49 saw increased purchases. Notably, the UK's razor imports surged but fell by 11.6% post that year, with continuous declines observed in 2021. In the UK, frequent shaving also decreased from over 7 million men to 4.8 million. The influence of trends like #NoShaveNovember and rising inflation has impacted the shaving frequency and spending on razors. Innovation remains crucial, as exemplified by significant R&D investments by leading companies like Gillette.

Meanwhile, new market entrants such as Harry's and subscription services disrupt traditional players with online sales and direct-to-consumer models. This shift is underscored by traditional firms like Wilkinson Sword entering the subscription arena. The UK's foreign trade in razors reveals it as a net importer, with a significant import source being Poland due to its role as Gillette's production hub for Europe and Russia. In conclusion, the men's razor market is marked by a strong presence of established brands alongside nimble new players capitalizing on digital market trends, although consumer habits are leading to overall less frequent shaving.

Trends in Men's Razor Market Demand in the United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, the men's razor market has been experiencing a shift in consumer preferences and buying habits. Over recent years, there has been a notable trend toward electric and battery-powered razors, which witnessed an increase of more than one million users. This aligns with the broader consumer inclination toward comfort and convenience in grooming. In contrast, 2020 marked a significant decline in high-priced electric shaver sales, with models above £50 nearly halving in sales, while those priced between £25 and £49 saw a rise in buyers. The UK market has also been grappling with changes in shaving frequency among men. Data reveals a downward trend, with daily shaving individuals dropping from over seven million to between four and five million by 2020. On the other end of the spectrum, those shaving infrequently, such as less than once a week, have increased from around two to over three million within the same timeframe. The COVID-19 pandemic and the tilt toward more relaxed lifestyles have lessened the emphasis on regular shaving, influencing market demand.

Consumer purchasing behavior also demonstrates a departure from traditional channels to online platforms, with 31% of shaving product buyers making their purchases via the internet in 2021. Social media and influencers play a significant role in shaping consumption trends, while online movements like #NoShaveNovember, with millions of mentions, are indicative of consumer participation in non-shaving activities negatively impacting razor sales. The rise of subscription services for razors presents an additional dimension to the market dynamics. Services offering periodic deliveries of grooming sets are gaining popularity, with offerings ranging from eco-friendly solutions to budget-friendly options. For example, yearly subscriptions for as low as £2.5 per set have been noted, encapsulating the market movement towards personalized and convenient purchase models, which also includes larger market players like Wilkinson Sword developing their own subscription services. In terms of competition, market giants continue to dominate, however, new entrants and online platforms are making waves. Companies like Harry's Inc., with its direct-to-consumer model, have disrupted the status quo, compelling traditional players to adjust their strategies and engage with digital channels. In summary, the UK men's razor market is adapting to changing consumer preferences, with a clear pivot toward comfort-oriented and less frequent shaving. Online shopping and subscription models are reshaping the traditional retail landscape as consumers demand more convenience and personalization. Despite these shifts, market leaders remain influential yet are being continually nudged by innovative competitors.

Key Players Shaping the Contours of the Men's Razor Market

The men's razor market is a landscape characterized by the presence of entrenched industry giants, innovative e-commerce disruptors, and traditional razor makers that champion quality craftsmanship. Within this competitive arena, a few companies stand out for their market influence, technological innovations, and brand legacy.

  • Procter and Gamble (Gillette) - An Undisputed Market Leader At the pinnacle of the sector is Procter & Gamble, owner of the Gillette brand—synonymous with shaving for over a century. Gillette's dominance is augmented by continuous investment in research and development, and a business model that turned razorblade sales into an art form. Gillette's widespread consumer base and extensive product range, from the Mach3 to the Fusion series, affirm their position as a stalwart in the industry.
  • Philips - Driving Innovation in Electric Shavers Global tech giant Philips has been a revolutionary force in the electric shaver segment. Inventor of the rotary head shaver, Philips has been catering to the comfort and convenience of men with varying facial hair types, consistently refining the technology behind their acclaimed shavers.
  • Wilkinson Sword (Edgewell Personal Care Group) - An Expert in Precision Wilkinson Sword, now under Edgewell Personal Care Group, has been another key player with a rich history in razor manufacturing. Known for their Hydro series that integrates hydrating gel reservoirs, Wilkinson continues to balance innovation with a pledge to comfort and precision in shaving.
  • BIC - The Go-To for Disposable Razors BIC has made a name for itself in the disposable razor market, providing affordable and convenient options for men worldwide. Though not as advanced as their competitors in certain areas, their commitment to providing budget-friendly products has carved them a significant niche.
  • Braun (Procter and Gamble Group) Another Procter & Gamble brand, Braun, has built its reputation in the marriage of function and design. It’s recognized for its classic electric shavers that cater to customers seeking a quick, yet efficient shave without the hassle of more elaborate setups.
  • Harry's - A Digital-Era Challenger Harry's Inc., although a relative newcomer, has made substantial waves with its direct-to-consumer model, offering sleek designs at competitive prices. The company's growth has been so impactful that it was acquired by Edgewell, as traditional players acknowledge and adapt to shifting market dynamics.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of the study

The men's razor market is a sub-segment of the men's hygiene and beauty market. The razor is a device used by men primarily for shaving facial hair. The razor market comprises several segments:

  • Straight razors (razors that can be folded, used mainly by barbers)
  • Electric shavers
  • Disposable razors (often made of plastic, single use)

The global razor market is expected to grow strongly until 2025, mainly due to the increasing focus on men's grooming and consumer awareness on personal hygiene. Nevertheless, different geographical regions exhibit different uses of razors. For example, in Asia, disposable razors are more frequently used, while developed countries make greater use of electric razors.

In the United Kingdom, the shaver market is struggling due to consumer trends, including the increasing use of beards, and increased competition from foreign players and start-ups, which are putting downward pressure on prices and therefore on revenues.

The razor market is dominated by Gillette, a company with historical roots dating back to the 20th century and owned by Procter & Gamble.

Trends in the razor industry benefit from social networks and the influence of celebrities, who often use hairstyles that require the use of razors.

1.2 A global market in good shape

The global shavers market is in pretty good shape, estimated in **** at USD **.** billion and is expected to register a CAGR (***) of *.*% over the period ****-**** to reach USD **.** billion by ****.

shavers Market Size Evolution World, ****-****, $ billion Source: ****

In general, the end-user is more frequently male, which can help market ...

1.3 An increasingly weak national market

Given the limited data available on the men's shaving market in the UK, it is difficult to establish a clear market size. However, it is possible to establish the size of the market for everything related to hair removal and shaving, including creams and lotions. The graph below shows that the ...

1.4 Foreign trade

In order to report on the UK's foreign trade in razors, we use the UN Comtrade platform, using the code **** which includes: "Razors and razor blades (***)".

Thus, we can say that in ****, the United Kingdom is a net importer of razors, with a foreign trade coverage rate of **.**%. In ****, the country ...

2 Analysis of the demand

2.1 Consumers who are increasingly turning to comfort

Until ****, the number of razor users in the UK was constant with only slight variations by type of razor used, as shown in the graph below.

change in the number of people using razors by type United Kingdom, ****-****, in thousands of units Source: ****

Thus, it can be seen from the ...

2.2 Shaving less and less frequently

Although the razor remains the reflex tool for a man to shave and substitutes for shaving with razors are few, more expensive and less convenient, there is a downward trend in the use of razors by the British.

change in men's shaving frequency United Kingdom, ****-****, in millions Source: Kantar The ...

2.3 New ways of consuming

Beyond less frequent use, consumers are changing their purchasing habits. Indeed, with the advent of social networks and online consumerism, traditional channels are increasingly abandoned in the shaving market. Thus, Mintel informs us that in ****, **% of shaving product buyers have purchased their products online.

Social networks can influence the consumption of ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Business model and most popular brands

The larger , older shaving brands are increasingly being challenged by smaller players, as discussed earlier. There are strong opportunities for brands to use direct and digital interactions to better understand their consumers and use them to drive marketing and launch activities. However, traditional players such as Wilkinson Sword, Gilette or Bic ...

3.2 R&D at the heart of the market players' strategy

Here again, we can distinguish between manufacturers of mechanical and electric shavers, around whom the organization and dynamics of the market are based.

The organization of the mechanical shaver industry is quite simple:

Suppliers of raw materials such as steel or plastic for the handle Manufacturers (***) as major players, who own ...

3.3 New players shaking up traditional players

Even if the giants such as Wilkinson, Gilette, Braun or Bic monopolize the market of men's razors, new trends come to shake up this order with ideas that attract many customers. Among these trends, we find the online sales which quickly came to bother the big players of the market, with ...

4 Analysis of the offer

4.1 Types of razors and prices

There are different main families of razors, each with its own price range.

The cabbage cutter

The cabbage cutter, also known as a straight razor, is for those who appreciate a traditional shave. It is very precise and requires a little training to sharpen it and use it safely. The advantage ...

4.2 High-margin products but falling prices in the face of competition

Overview of the latest products offered on the razor market in the UK according to their specificities:

Hydrating: A razor that diffuses a moisturizing gel, the objective being a perfect distribution of the gel. Example: Hydro * from Wilkinson, a sensitive version exists for sensitive skin Price: £**.** for * blades[***] Premium: The premium ...

4.3 An increasingly qualitative and personalized offer

Blades are of better quality, a movement directly resulting from the huge R&D budgets of the major razor companies. Products last longer (***) by offering standard products with less frequent blade quality improvements and thus lowering the average price of its razors. Nevertheless, blades are improving overall.

Manufacturers are also trying ...

5 Regulation

5.1 A product whose regulations are changing with the Brexit

The razor market is relatively unaffected by the regulations, however, blades remain a product that can be turned into a weapon. For airplanes, disposable razors are allowed while traditional razors (***) are prohibited.

Brexit-related changesHowever, it is, like most products sold in the UK, subject to Brexit-induced changes in regulations. Razors are ...

6 Positioning of the actors

6.1 Segmentation

The segmentation of companies in the shaver sector is extremely simple, the companies are mainly manufacturers of shavers, whether electric or mechanical.

The market has very few companies, and is almost duopolistic for all types of shavers. Especially since the brands are often grouped together as subsidiaries of other larger groups. ...

  • Procter & Gamble
  • BIC Groupe
  • Gillette (Procter & Gamble)
  • Braun (Procter & Gamble)
  • Edgewell Personnal Care Group - Wilkinson
  • Harry's Shave
  • Edwin Jagger

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Trends in the size of the global shaver market
  • Change in number of people using razors by type
  • Number of people buying electric shavers for men
  • Evolution of sales of shavers produced in the United Kingdom
  • Evolution and prediction of the size of the shaving market
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Latest news

Bic makes progress with its new shavers - 20/02/2024
  • In 2023, Bic's sales rose by 9.2% at constant exchange rates and by 1.3% as reported, reaching 2.26 billion euros.
  • Despite lower volumes in stationery and lighters, the number of units purchased in the shaving segment increased. 9.5% of Bic sales came from products launched in the last three years.
  • The EZ Reach lighter exceeded the 100 million euro sales threshold and gained 10.7% of the segment by value in European supermarkets in one year.
  • Sales of the lighter rose by 3.3% at constant exchange rates.
  • In France, Bic gained 1.4 points of market share in value in stationery.
Bic recaptures the flame - 16/10/2023
  • The non-permanent tattoo market is expected to triple over the next seven years to 1.5 billion euros.
  • Inkbox sales are in the region of $22 million.
  • Today, tobacco accounts for only half of the global market for firelighters, compared with 60-70% a decade ago.
  • In the United States, tobacco accounts for 28% of the flame market.
  • In Brazil, cooking far outstrips tobacco, with 50% of the flame market, compared with 8% for tobacco.
  • Bic's largest lighter factory produces 3 million units a day, or 50% of the division's worldwide production.
  • Bic has a broader vision for shaving, which generated over 15 million euros in sales in its first year.
  • By 2022, Bic has revised its sales forecasts three times, ending the year up 13.8% at constant exchange rates, to 2.23 billion euros.
Bic reports solid first-half results for 2023 - 31/07/2023
  • Group sales for the first six months of the year: over 1.1 billion euros
  • Stationery sales: 460 million euros (+4.7%)
  • Shaver division sales: 268 million euros (+11.9%)
  • Lighter sales: 434 million euros (-0.9%)
  • Total U.S. lighter market down: 5.6% in volume and 1.4% in value
  • Lighter-related sales growth in Europe: nearly 7.5
  • Share of Group revenues generated by e-commerce: 11.8% (vs. 11.3% in first-half 2022).
Bic back on track - 13/03/2023
  • More than 100 billion Bic tips manufactured since the company's inception
  • Gonzalve, who took the helm of the company in 2018, intends to return it to growth
  • Bic has set up a 230-strong consumer expert division
  • His boss is betting on semi-permanent tattooing with Inkbox, a technique using natural dyes whose designs disappear as the skin's cells renew
Bic benefits from the iron health of its pens - 16/02/2023
  • Bic continued to build on the momentum of 2021, which marked the first fruits of "Horizon", its transformation plan
  • Sales up 13.8% to 2.23 billion euros
  • The Group's strategy to clean up the number of references in its portfolio
at Marne-la-Vallée, Bic produces the 4 Colours of the world - 31/10/2022
  • 1950 Marcel Bich launches the first Cristal Bic pen
  • 1956 Launch of the M10 retractable pen
  • 1970 Launch of the Bic 4-Color pen
  • 2000 Bic inaugurates its Marne-la-Vallée plant
  • 6 factories in France, 24 worldwide.
  • 1.83 billion euros in sales by 2021

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Procter & Gamble
BIC Groupe
Gillette (Procter & Gamble)
Braun (Procter & Gamble)
Edgewell Personnal Care Group - Wilkinson
Harry's Shave
Edwin Jagger

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